While nuts in general make up an important part of the Raw Diet, the pecan in particular brings in nutrients such as vitamins A and E, folic acid and several of the B vitamins as well as minerals including magnesium, copper, calcium, manganese, zinc, phosphorous and potassium. This raw food choice is a good source of both protein and plant sterols. They are a rich source of energy and many of the antioxidants necessary for our well being.
Phytochemical activity including ellagic acid, beta carotenes, zeaxanthin and lutein are contributors to the pecans ability to help remove toxic substances called oxygen free radicals, from the body thus protecting it from diseases like cancer. This is also true of vitamin E which is necessary for the integrity of the cell membranes of our mucus membranes and found in significant amounts in pecans.
Adding a handful of pecans to your daily raw diet has clinically shown—and been documented in the Sept 2001 addition of the Journal of Nutrition, pecans to lower total cholesterol by 11.3%, and in particular, 16.5% of the LDL cholesterol levels due to its plant sterols. Pecans also contain no trans fats but contribute heart healthy sources of fats as does vegetable oils and fish.
Along with various other raw diet foods, pecans are naturally sodium-free. This makes them a great nutrient packed choice for people who are on a salt or sodium-restricted diet. They are easy to eat and go well on salads or sprinkled over other raw vegetable choices.
If you are currently working on losing weight, be aware that there are about 200 calories per every 20 halves. A small handful of 5-10 halves is plenty to get all the health benefits without consuming too many extra calories.